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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi can stand trial in Libya, says ICC

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-23

Saif al-Islam (pictured), the captured son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, can be tried in Libya as long as he gets a fair trial, International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said Wednesday.

REUTERS - The International Criminal Court's (ICC) chief prosecutor said on Wednesday that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi can be tried inside Libya provided there is a judicial process that does not shield him from justice.

Speaking in Tripoli, Luis Moreno-Ocampo said it was very important for Libya that Saif al-Islam, the captured son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, was tried inside the country.

The ICC earlier this year issued a warrant for Saif al-Islam's arrest on charges of crimes against humanity.

"My standard, the standard of the ICC, is that it has to be a judicial process that is not organised to shield the suspect. That's it, that's it," Moreno-Ocampo told reporters.

"The point is that for Libya, and I respect that, it is very important to do the cases in Libya. This is a right and I have nothing to say. I'm not competing for the case."

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the last of the former Libyan leader's sons whose whereabouts were still unknown, was captured on Saturday in an ambush deep in the Sahara desert.

A day later, an NTC spokesman said local officials in the desert town of Sabha had confirmed former spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi had also been captured.

An NTC official called Saif al-islam Gaddafi's arrest "the last chapter in the Libyan drama".

"Libya can decide to let the ICC do it, but Libya has decided not to so it's ok. It's their right to do it," Moreno-Ocampo said.

"Murder is murder, prosecution is a prosecution, I hope the Libyans can find a way to do it but that's why we're discussing modalities. Maybe for a few months, for some months, we'll keep working together."

Libyan officials have promised a fair trial but the country still has the death penalty on its books, whereas the severest punishment the ICC can impose is life imprisonment.

"I hope they do a fair trial. My point is that we are not a system to monitor fair trials. We are a system to ensure no impunity," Moreno-Ocampo said.

"It's not my role to tell them how to hold a fair trial."

"There are so many different traditions, it is difficult to say what is fair."

He said the concern was that the process was "genuine". "Genuine means, in the ICC context, that it should be a process not organised to shield the accused," Moreno-Ocampo said.


Date created : 2011-11-23


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